Thursday, February 22, 2007

Eating out and reading up

There’s been a change at the top as far as Headlines Today is concerned. The old order has been waylaideth. New order has been welcometh. Which has created quite a buzz around office. There’s more work. Not all of it good or sensible. But a lot of it has been fun. With the World Cup coming up, the sports desk is quite in focus. So there’s been a lot of work, which makes sense as far as I am concerned. To cut through the roundabout talk, the channel’s doing better than before and that, I suppose, is more good than bad.

On a tangent, Ajitha’s often called me ‘illiterate’ in recent times because of my complete disregard for the many good books we have bought, stolen or borrowed. But with all these comics happening – graphic novels to some – I ain’t illiterate no more. Breezed through Watchmen, Epileptic and The Barn Owl’s Wondrous Capers. Plus, while in the hospital, did a spot of serious reading in the form of Murakami’s Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End Of The World.

A word on Barn Owl...: Sarnath Banerjee's first novel - Corridor - was utter drivel. It was easily worse than The Inscrutable Americans or The Romantics. I didn't think Sarnath can ever come up with anything worth spending more than five minutes on. But Barn Owl... is quite, quite brilliant. The story itself is very, very engrossing, with it's back-and-forth narrative spanning many, many eras and histories. But, more importantly, the artwork was great. Really great. Different for each segment of the story...each of them a wonderful style. Lots of experimentations scattered around. Worth picking up.

Am not qualified enough to debate Watchmen and Epileptic, though I have to say that while I loved both the books, Epileptic’s illustrations/artwork was so fantastic that I have to put it at a notch or three above any other graphic novel I’ve read thus far. Jabberwock tells me From Hell is comparable if not better. He hasn’t read Epileptic. And I have only seen a few pages of From Hell (courtesy Jabberwock). Epileptic is marvellous because of the detail of its art. The parallel, imaginary universe, with its separate motifs to distinguish the different characters…fascinating!

In between, there were a couple more good meals had at Mainland China. I remain a hardcore non-vegetarian, but the thing I would continue to recommend at MC would be their Crackling Spinach. It’s awesome. Please try it out with the Black Pepper Sauce, which, by the way, you have to ask for. They won’t serve it otherwise.

Plus, a good meal was enjoyed with Jabberwock and Abhilasha at The Kitchen in Khan Market. Wonderful soft-shell crab…and the sushi.

The West Indies trip still looks set – good food is promised there too.